Friday, April 5, 2013

Hughes To Be Activated Off The DL, Will Start Tomorrow

(Bringing out the old school Photoshop for this story)

How about a little good injury news to take us into the weekend?  With guys taking balls off various parts of their bodies every other game (phrasing), I think we could all use a little pick-me-up, right?

Well via Donnie Collins and Cash, we've got one.  Collins first reported that Phil Hughes had been scratched from his scheduled final rehab start for Triple-A SWB tomorrow while confirming that there was nothing physically wrong with him, and Cash put the pieces together for us by telling reporters that Hughes will indeed start in place of David Phelps tomorrow in the second game of the Yankees' weekend series against the Tigers.

Knowing the way the Yankees tend to take it easy on guys with injuries, and knowing Hughes' checked history with his back, this has to be a sign that he's 100% healthy.  I can't see them making this move if there was even a sliver of doubt about that.  Assuming Kuroda is still on schedule to make his next start, and he should be after throwing a bullpen with no reported problems earlier today, the Yanks have their projected starting rotation back together sooner than anticipated.  And I'll drink to that!

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 4/5/13

Well it didn't take very long to get my hands on the company Brewer tickets this year.  Got 'em for Sunday's game against the D-backs, which will give me a chance to see former Yankee Ian Kennedy in action.  I'm still a little salty about how quickly the team gave up on him and still wonder how his career path might have turned out had they kept him around.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog offered up his American League predictions for 2013, complete with W-L records for every team.  That's dedication, folks.

- On Tuesday, Mike Ashmore of Thunder Thoughts revealed the Double-A Trenton rotation for this season. On paper it looks like it could be sneaky good, but I was bummed to not see Jose Ramirez included.

- Staying with the Thunder, Josh Norris of Minor Matters had the details on all the upgrades to the Thunder's stadium this season, both on the field and in the clubhouse.

- Craig Edwards of Pinstriped Bible commented on the added importance and added risk the Yankees are taking with CC Sabathia in the new MLB world where teams lock up their best young pitchers to big deal.

- Chad Jennings of LoHud had the full player-by-player breakdown of the Yankees' record-setting 2013 payroll.  Still a little mind bottling to think that's how much they're paying players when you see the current lineup on the field.

- On Wednesday, Mike Eder of IIATMS/TYA examined the schedule to show how the Yankees may not get hurt too much by having a weak right-handed hitting team early.

- Curtis Clark of Bronx Baseball Daily predicted good things for Kevin Youkilis in 2013, and had plenty of reasons to support the prediction.

- El duque of It Is High... made some counter-arguments to the widespread belief that Robinson Cano dumping Scott Boras automatically means he's going to re-sign with the Yankees.

- On Thursday, Mike Axisa of RAB commented on the early struggles of the top of the lineup, the struggles that surely impacted Joe's decision to move everybody else up on Thursday night.

- Bryan Van Dusen of The Greedy Pinstripes used some statistical analysis, both current and historical, to point out how stupid all the hand wringing was over the first two games.

- Hunter Farman of Yanks Go Yard mused on the increasingly negative atmosphere that exists in the new Yankee Stadium.

- SG of RLYW compared the current lineups with the projected lineups if everybody was healthy to see just how much offense the Yankees are missing right now.

- On Friday, fishjam25 of Yankees Fans Unite questioned Bahhston's logic in shifting against Robbie Cano.  When you look at the spray charts and Cano's career numbers going the other way, it's a fair question to ask.

- Egon Spengler of NoMaas presented their first new series recap of the season.  These will come in handy if you're ever out of town and need to catch up on what you missed.

Today's Friday Jam is "When The Levee Breaks" by Zeppelin.  This is always our go-to first jukebox song when my buddies from work and I go out drinking. Seven minutes gives you plenty of time to pick out the rest of your selections without having to rush, and this is easily one of the 3-5 best Zeppeling songs.  Remember, kids, even in something as trivial as bar music, strategy is the key.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

BREAKING NEWS: Eduardo Nunez Leaves Game After HBP In The Chest

I'd say April Fool's, but that would be neither timely nor funny.

Eduardo Nunez was just taken out of the game after apparently being hit by a pitch from Doug Fister in the chest.  Pretty much every beat writer with a Twitter account said he looked like he was in a tremendous amount of pain and he needed help getting off the field.  Jayson Nix was brought in to pinch run and now we get to wait around again for more injury updates.  Tough break for Nunez, who had gotten off to a pretty good start this season.  More on this story as it becomes available.

** UPDATE 2:35 PM- Via Bryan Hoch, Nunez's injury is being called a bruised right bicep.  X-rays were negative.  That's really good news considering the amount of pain he appeared to be in, so I would imagine this will be called a 'day-to-day' injury. **

On Early-Season Lineup Tinkering

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

When the lineup for last night's game was released, there were probably a few eyebrows that went up.  After just two games, one against a right-handed pitcher, Joe decided to change things up a bit and shuffle the deck against Ryan Dempster.  Gone were Ichiro or Eduardo Nunez from the 2-spot in the lineup, and instead Joe moved the middle of the batting order up a spot to hit Robinson Cano 2nd, Kevin Youkilis 3rd, Travis Hafner 4th, and Vernon Wells 5th.  With such an incredibly small sample size to evaluate and base lineup decisions on, a move like this in the third game of the regular season could have come across as one of desperation.  Considering the circumstances surrounding the roster right now, and the severely depleted amount of above-average hitters in the lineup, I actually thought it was pretty smart and a great example of playing the hand you're dealt.

Game 3 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 BOS 2

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Andy Pettitte has always had a reputation as being a stopper, a pitcher you could count on to turn in a good performance when your team needed a win.  The season was only two games old heading into last night, but the Yankees certainly could have used a win to get some positive vibes going into the weekend series against  Detroit and in typical Andy fashion, the old lefty gave them the good start they needed.

Game Notes:

- Pettitte got into a little trouble in the top of the 1st, putting 2 runners on base with singles and then throwing a wild pitch that he didn't cover the plate on.  Francisco Cervelli made a great play to retrieve the ball and tag Shane Victorino out at the plate, though, and no harm was done.

- With 2 outs in the bottom of the 2nd, the Yanks took the lead, their first since Game 5 of last year's ALDS, on Lyle Overbay's 2-run bloop single to left.  Credit Eduardo Nunez for his ground-rule double the AB before to put RISP.

- He's not known for his power, but Brett Gardner muscled a leadoff HR over the wall in right in the bottom of the 3rd to make it 3-0.

- A 3-run lead isn't insurmountable, but Pettitte made it stand up with some great work.  He gave up hits here and there, but always seemed in control and mixed his pitches beautifully to keep Bahhston off the board through 6.

- They finally struck in the top of the 7th on a Jackie Bradley, Jr. RBI double to make it 3-1.  Pettitte then turned around and worked a quick scoreless 8th to ensure no further damage.

- He also got picked up by another atypical power hitter in the bottom half of the 7th when Cervelli hit a bomb to left to re-extend the lead to 3 runs.

- Mo came on for the first time since the end of last April and locked down the win.  It didn't come without a run scored, but fuck it.  A win's a win.